113. Kyrgyzstan: Lagman

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Kyrgyzstan is an old country it’s recorded history spans over 2,000 years, they have seen a lot of cultures and empires come and go. Although geographically isolated by its high mountains, which has helped protect its ancient culture, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road and other commercial and cultural routes.

Though long inhabited by a succession of independent tribes and clans, Kyrgyzstan has periodically fallen under foreign domination and attained independence as a nation-state only after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. But they have been around longer.

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Things you didn’t know about Kyrgyzstan:

  • Manas, a warrior who united Kyrgyzstan, is undoubtedly the most popular folk hero in the country. You see this name everywhere. There are streets, statues, universities, radio stations, national parks, and many other things that are named after him. Even Kyrgyzstan’s main airport is Manas International Airport.
  • The vast majority of people in Kyrgyzstan are Sunni Muslims. However, you don’t see obvious signs of Islam while walking down the streets of Bishkek, partly due to its Soviet history. After the collapse of communism, the influence of Islam has slowly been coming back into Kyrgyz society.
  • The city of Osh was an important commercial center in the 10th century as part of the Silk Road, the trade route between China and Europe.
  • The name Kyrgyz is derived from the Kyrgyz word for “forty.” It is a possibility that the people of Kyrgyzstan came from forty families or clans.
  • Tourists can negotiate with any car on the road; they’re all potential taxis – if the price is right.
  • The Kyrgyz were one of the groups who raided the borders of China and created the need for the construction of the Great Wall.

Truth be told normally they make their own noodles, but since my kitchen is really really tiny and I don’t have nearly enough space to make noodles and the noodles are soooo similar to tagliatelle I just bought tagliatelle


  • 1/2 lb beef chuck (I use top round roast)
  • 1/2 oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green bell pepper (I mostly use half yellow, half green pepper)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Splash of Worchester sauce
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • Parsley
  • 8 glasses of water
  • Tagliatelle
  1. Prepare the ingredients of the soup. Wash all of the vegetables. Slice the onions in half circles. Cut peppers into 2cm thick strips. Julienne carrots thinly. Peel the skin off potatoes, wash them and cut them into cubes. Chop the garlic, slice the tomato thinly.
  2. Cut the meat into thin strips.
  3. Pre-heat your Wok on high heat, add oil. Toss the julienned meat into the Wok and stir-fry until light-brown. Add the onions to the meat. Add spices (black pepper, cumin, salt) and stir-fry until onions are golden in color.
  4. Add the tomato, tomato paste and half of the chopped garlic. Mix everything well and stir-fry until tomatoes are nicely soft.
  5. Add the remaining vegetables. Mix well and stir-fry for another 4 minutes. You are frying everything on high heat, so do not forget to keep stirring the ingredients. Otherwise, they might stick to the bottom of the Wok. Add water and turn the heat down to medium.
  6. Add bay leafs, Worchester sauce, sugar and stock cube. Let the soup simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, you can cook the pasta according to instructions.
  8. When everything is done simply pour the soup over the pasta in a bowl, and you’re ready to chow down.

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